Ion Nicodim was a Romanian painter, engraver and tapestry designer, considered one of the most important Romanian artists of the second half of the XXth century. He studied at the Fine Arts Institute, Bucharest (1950-56). Although his artistic education in Romania neglected the work of modern European artists, he acquired a sound knowledge of classical art and managed to discover the expressive values of modern art. His first figurative works reveal a sensitive use of colour and a taste for chromatic nuances in the contours. From 1963 to 1968 he worked and exhibited in Rome. Here he turned towards an allusive abstract art with a tendency to lyricism. After 1965 Nicodim moved towards a lyrical abstraction of reality (that shares with the color field and monochrome paintings of international art certain features) in his paintings, as he depicted in symbolic form such natural phenomena as fields, birds and lakes. He also made a series of colour engravings entitled The Rainbow in the Grass. In the mid-1970s he produced some compositions with figurative-human themes containing a profoundly tragic message, such as Requiem for the Unknown Soldier which attracted the hostility of official ideological circles. In the 1970s he also concentrated on large-scale tapestries with allusive symbolic subjects, one of which is displayed at the United Nations headquarters in New York. Two further tapestries, one on the theme of the four elements, and the other incorporating the Renaissance theme of Man as symbol of the cosmos, are displayed in the National Theatre in Bucharest. In 1975 he received from ONU the Planetary Citizen award, with the occasion of the Conference about Human Survival. From 1976, in response to the hostility aroused by Requiem for the Unknown Soldier, he established a studio in Paris (where he remained until his death), where he again worked on large canvases, including The Yellow Field and The Earth, as well as a cycle entitled The Hearts, which included a series of earth and straw sculptures in the form of tall poles supporting hearts, sometimes crudely coloured, and intended to invoke the ancestral archaism of the Romanian rural environment.
Ilinca Nicodim-Gèze and Patrick Gèze have published in 2012 the album Ion Nicodim at the Humanitas Publishing House (edition in Romanian and French).